South Korea's Minimum Wage Commission has set next year's minimum wage at 8-thousand 5-hundred 90 Korean won that's approximately 7-dollars 30-cents an hour.
That represents an increase of 2.9 percent from the current rate.
It's the smallest increase since 2010 and the first time the Moon administration has not raised it by double digits, showing that wages are slowing down along with the economy.
"We desperately need an adjustment in speed and direction as we pursue economic and social goals."
The increase for 2018 was a whopping 16.4 percent, the sharpest rise in 17 years.. and it was 10.9 percent this year.
Next year's wage was decided in a vote early Friday by the commission's three groups -- labor, business and representatives of the public interest mostly economists.
Labor had initially proposed an increase of almost 19 percent to 10,000 won an hour and the business side proposed a cut in the wage to 8,000 won.
But those demands were softened after a marathon meeting.
The labor proposal was defeated, and after the vote, its representatives released a statement slamming the decision.
On the other hand, the business side described the small increase as unavoidable because of the side-effects that could come from another big hike.
They also said they hoped it will help revitalize the economy and reduce the burden on mom-and-pop stores and small and mid-sized companies.
The decision will be finalized by the Ministry of Employment and Labor on August 5th, and it will take effect from January 1st.
Lee Min-sun Arirang News.